Assistant editor goes out with a laugh

Lexi Wojcik-Kretchmer, Assistant News Editor

My time at the Advance-Titan began when I wrote a letter to the editor titled “Ditch the straw, save the earth” for my honors macroeconomics class in hopes that I could get extra credit for it if it was published. Somehow, they were able to fit it into the paper at the last minute, and I got those extra five points; however, I got much more than five points after the paper’s adviser, the wonderful Barb Benish, asked me if I wanted to write for them the following year.

And so, at the beginning of my sophomore year, I wrote a story on the peregrine falcons, Foxy and Fondy, that lived on top of Gruenhagen Hall. At the time, I was a business major, so I hadn’t taken classes like reporting, but I remember finding what I was writing interesting and this new experience being something I wanted to continue.

Lexi Wojcik-Kretchmer / The Advance-Titan
Lexi Wojcik Kretchmer was assistant news editor and writer.

The next article I wrote was on the College of Education and Human Service’s enrollment steadily declining. Even though I wasn’t in the COEHS, I again found everything so interesting.

I wrote a few more stories and then COVID-19 hit and my time at the paper suddenly came to a halt. During the fall 2020 semester, I worked on copy desk and wrote a few more articles. I remember the first time one of my articles made the front page; it was on COVID-19 and the extra 15 pounds many people put on during the quarantine. My family asked me for so many copies of that.

Spring and fall 2021 were very busy semesters for me and resulted in just a few articles because I just didn’t have as much time. But at the end of the semester, I emailed The A-T adviser, Barb Benish, to tell her that I’d have more time to be able to write articles for my last semester because I’d really missed it. She was very appreciative and asked if I would be interested in filling the open position of assistant news editor. I was grateful that she had faith in me to be able to do something like that.

Spring 2022 was my final semester, and being a part of production night staff brought me so much joy on those late nights. From listening to Kylie and Owen play word association to watching Katie play Webkinz instead of doing her Spanish homework to listening to Jacob and Cory yell at whatever game they were watching and to talking with Mattie about anything and everything, it was always an experience.

Being at the paper brought me not only a knowledge of writing, but it also brought me to the majors I actually wanted to work in. If I hadn’t written for the paper when I was a business major, biology major and then education major (yes, I had four different majors; no, I don’t know how I’m still graduating on time), I don’t know if I would have found my final majors of multimedia journalism and public relations. So, I have the A-T to thank for bringing me to a career I love.

The A-T not only taught me how to talk to people and communicate clearly, but it also taught me perseverance when I had to contact sources multiple times to get answers to my questions. I learned how to write an article before I was even a part of the journalism department and took the reporting class.

I learned time management skills by making sure my articles were done in a timely manner.

I learned how to really listen to people.

I was able to gain more knowledge about the city, campus and the people around it through each story I did and gain connections.

I learned some very random facts about falcons, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, doping in the Olympics, the national debt and much more.

My time at the paper seemed to be a lot of stop and go, but I learned so many valuable lessons and gained so many experiences and friendships that I’m glad I became a part of The A-T in any way that I could.

And so, to my fellow paper staff, it has been a pleasure to be able to work on production nights with you even though it was for a short time.

  • Katie, trudge carefully through the mud on your way back to your dorm because it only rains on production nights.
  • Kylie, good luck with everything you accomplish after graduation. I’m glad you’re going through this scary process with me.
  • Mattie, continue to be an iPad kid; it’s so much fun.
  • Cory, park carefully on Tuesday nights and hopefully by the time you graduate, our elevator will be fixed.
  • Kelly, keep being the best dressed person in the newsroom.
  • Owen, bring the dart board in again. It really helps pass the time and good luck with being editor- in-chief next semester. You’ll do great.
  • Nolan, keep going primal.
  • Jacob, always keep reading the gripe line’s greatest hits.

Finally, to Barb, I have some awful, cheesy jokes for you:

  • Why didn’t the skeleton get a prom date? He didn’t have the guts to ask anyone.
  • How did the two cats end their fight? They hissed and made up.
  • What kind of music do planets listen to? Neptunes.
  • Can February March? No, but April May.
  • What did the football coach say to the broken vending machine? Give me my quarterback.
  • Why did the picture go to jail? Because it was framed.
  • Why can’t your nose be 12 inches long? Because then it’d be a foot.
  • Two fish are in a tank, one turns to the other and asks “How do you drive this thing?”
  • Where did Captain Hook buy his hook? The second-hand store.
  • Why should you never fight a dinosaur? You’ll get jurasskicked!
  • What does the dentist of the year get? A little plaque.
  • A book fell on my head, I can only blame my shelf.
  • What do you call a priest who becomes a lawyer? A father-in-law.
  • I have a fear of speed bumps but I’m slowly getting over them.
  • What do you call a chicken that is staring at a lettuce? Chicken sees a salad.
  • My horse’s name is Mayo because Mayo neighs.
  • What do you get when you cross a cactus and a pig? A porky pine.
  • Why was the student’s report card wet? His grades were below C-level.
  • What’s the difference between ignorance and indifference? I don’t know and I don’t care.
  • What’s black and white and read all over? A newspaper.